Old Mutual Wealth outlines share class switch plan

Platform giant Old Mutual Wealth has said it will start converting advisers’ clients into new style share classes next year.

Roughly 75 per cent of advisers on the platform have already moved their clients from the old style bundled share classes, which contain adviser trail commission and platform rebates, into the newer, RDR-friendly ‘clean’ share classes.

These clean share classes simply contain the charges levied by the asset manager to run the fund. Using this system, advisers’ clients pay a platform charge and an adviser charge separately.

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Old Mutual Wealth said it would in February start moving advisers’ clients who remain in ‘bunbled’ share classes to the new style clean ones.

This is so it can make sure it is fully compliant with the FCA’s sunset clause in April 2016, from which point commission will be banned.

Because the platform is undertaking the action to move clients, it will take responsibility for notifying them.

The company added advisers would not need to carry out complex and time-consuming fund switches and clients will not incur any transaction costs or out of market risk.

In December next year, all Isas and collective investment account will be moved from the old style bundled structure to the unbundled one.

Mike Barrett, investment platform expert at Old Mutual Wealth, said: “As the sunset clause approaches, we will work with those advisers that still have business in a bundled platform charging structure to help them transition to adviser charging before implementing a bulk conversion in Q4 2015.

“Our share class conversion process means we will take responsibility for ensuring customers are invested in the most appropriate share class. Advisers just need to focus on moving clients from commission to fees and we will also support them in that process.”